In December 2019, Japie and Sandra Oosthuizen from Boesmanskloof in McGregor lost their home, Eagle’s Nest, to devastating wildfires that occurred in the Onverwacht Flora. Their late father built the home in 1999, using mountain rocks and his own hands.
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The family are exporters of proteas and other fynbos species that grow on the mountain surrounding what was their home. Japie had cultivated a plantation of proteas so as not to put a strain on the natural environment. After the fires, however, this area in which their livelihood depended has also been destroyed.
Their home doubled up as a guest house and all deposits have been refunded, leaving the family with no source of future income and little chance of rebuilding in the near future.
A friend of the family, Telana Theron, has started a Back-A-Buddy campaign in an attempt to get the Oosthuizen the funds they need to start over. “At the moment the Oosthuizen family has lost all future sources of income. It saddens me so to think of the effect that this will also have on the community as the labour force on the farm will need to be reduced leading to so many families without a source of income,” said Theron in her campaign.
“Reaching my target will mean that Japie and Sandra Oosthuizen can afford the cost of labour and materials to rebuild what they have lost.
“The funds raised will largely cover the cost of the labour needed for cleanup operations as well as materials for the rebuilding of Eagle’s Nest. Should enough funds be raised the irrigation system in the Protea plantations lost, also needs to be completely replaced,” said Theron.
If you would like to help the Oosthuizen family get back on their feet, donate to the back-a-buddy campaign here.